What a superb shot!, was my reaction to this colourful, elegantly composed cover. Images of a BBC report from twenty years ago on a fashion show at a hotel in Blantyre, Malawi, popped up in my head, the goal of which had been to show an Africa that was something different from the usual news from the continent – famine, wars, and wildlife.
Congo in Conversation, I learn from the preface, was launched by British-Canadian photographer Finbarr O’Reilly, as “an online collaborative reportage with Congolese journalists and photographers. During six months, they documented the human, social, and ecological challenges that Congo faces today, within the context of the Covid-19 crisis.” Needless to say, this publication couldn’t be more timely.
Who are they? Arlette Bashizi, Dieudonne Dirole, Justin Makangara, Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro, Danny Matsongani, Guerchom Ndebo, Raissa Karama Rwizibuka, Moses Sawasawa, Pamela Tulizo, Ley Uwera, and Bernadette Vivuya.
“Finbarr saw an opportunity for Congolese reporters to regain the central storytelling role long held by outsiders and reshape narratives around Congo. He worked with the Congolese photographers from afar, discussing subjects to cover, photo edits etc.,” Myrtille Beauvert, who looks after the press for the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, lets me know.
Congo in Conversation is introduced by a conversation ...